Arshan, Republic of Buryatia (Russia)
The Arshan health resort is located in the Tunkinskaya valley (southern spurs of the Eastern Sayan Mountains) at an altitude of 893 m above sea level. 70 km south of Arshan is the regional center Kyren.
Translated from the Buryat name of the resort means “healing water”, this is the name of all the healing springs of the area. Arshan began to develop at the beginning of the 20th century in a picturesque area surrounded by forests, which differs from the harsh inland Siberian regions in its mild climate. Now it is the most popular resort in the Tunkinskaya Valley. Treatment at the resort is based on the use of carbon dioxide-sulfate-bicarbonate-magnesium-calcium low-iron waters rich in trace elements and sulfide silt mud. The waters of the springs are low-mineralized and have an outlet temperature of +11 to +45 degrees. In boarding houses and sanatoriums of Arshan carry out the prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, liver and biliary tract, metabolic diseases and functional diseases of the nervous system. Every year the resort is being improved, new equipment appears, cafes, bars and discos are opened. It is best to relax here in the summer, because in addition to treatment, the resort offers a variety of excursions, both by bus and on foot.
According to Directoryaah.com, the most popular route is hiking to the mountain lake Crystal, which is located at an altitude of 1777 m above sea level. Not far from Arshan, in a mountain gorge, the Kyngyrga River flows, on which about 12 picturesque waterfalls up to 7 m high were formed. The riverbed is composed of smoothly polished pinkish-yellow marble to a shine. In addition, you can go on a sightseeing tour of the healing springs of the Tunka Valley. The most famous springs are located near Arshan, near the resort of Nilova Pustyn (siliceous hot radon springs) and near the village of Zhemchug (methane springs). The oldest sources of the region are interesting – Suburga (Old Arshan) 5 km west of the Arshan resort and Papiy Arshan, 12 km from the Arshan resort at the foot of the ridge. All the healing springs of the Tunkinskaya Valley are places of worship, so the locals make offerings to their master gods. It is believed that drinking water from the source is possible only after laying gifts to the gods. There are several Buddhist datsans (temples)
in the vicinity of Arshan. The spread of Buddhism in the Tunkinskaya Valley was facilitated by Tibetan monks who came here in the 18th century. Directly in the resort of Arshan is the datsan “Dechen Ravzhalin” of 2002, and 1 km from it at the foot of the mountain is the datsan “Bodhi Dharma”. In these datsans, tourists can look at Buddhist services, purchase medicines that are used in Tibetan medicine.
Barguzin, Republic of Buryatia (Russia)
The village of Barguzin is located in the lower part of the Barguzin Valley on the banks of the Barguzin River. Its history begins in the middle of the 17th century, when a Cossack prison was founded on this place. In the 19th century, the village became a place of exile for political prisoners. Several Decembrists were exiled here, among whom was Mikhail Karlovich Küchelbecker. His grave is located at the Barguzinsky cemetery, along with the graves of many famous people.
Nowadays, tourists come to Barguzinto go on a trip to the Barguzin Valley. Its length is 230 km. Hiking trails are laid along the valley, during which you will get acquainted with the nature of this area and see cultural and historical sights, there are also opportunities for rafting on the Barguzin River.
There are several sacred places in the Barguzin valley. In its eastern part, not far from the village of Suvo, near the shores of Lake Bolshoye Alginskoye, there is the Suva Saxon Castle. Here, at the foot of the Ikat Range, there are several rocks that from afar resemble the ruins of a castle. Locals believe that this natural phenomenon is nothing more than one of the outposts of the ancient Barguts tribe (from which the name of the valley came).
In the vicinity of the village of Suvo, you can see the Bukhe-Shulun stone. In translation, this name means Ox-stone. There is a belief among local residents that the spirit of the owner of the valley is enclosed in this stone. An interesting stone is partially overgrown with moss near the village of Yarikto. It shows the image of a dancing woman.
If you go further along the Barguzin valley, you can see the sacred mountain Baragkhan. This is one of the mountains of the Barguzinsky Range, which limits the valley from the west. According to Tibetan teaching, Bargkhan is the northernmost place guarding Buddhism. One of the five main spirits lives here. In honor of him, at the foot of the mountain, an “it” (a sacred place of Buddhists) was established in honor of the spirit of this mountain. Also in the valley you can see ancient petroglyphs, for example, near the villages of Suvo, Dushelan, Gulmakta and Voronkovo.
More than 20 sources of mineral waters. The largest of them are located near the village of Barguzin (subthermal hydrocarbonate sulfate-sodium water with a temperature of +10.. +30 degrees), the village of Alga (subthermal sulfate-sodium water with a temperature of about +21 degrees), the village of Bayangol in the Ina river valley (subthermal sulphate-sodium water with a temperature of +20 degrees) and the village of Adamovo (hydrocarbonate sulphate-sodium water with a temperature of +40 degrees). The Barguzin valley ends where the Barguzin and Ikat ranges converge. The Dzherginsky State Nature Reserve was founded on this site.